Robert Greco thought he might be drafted in last weekend’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. However, that call never came Saturday.
Instead, the right-hander pitched the Sedalia Bombers to a 6-1 win over the Omaha Diamond Spirit on Saturday to earn a three-game sweep of a MINK League Series at Liberty Park Stadium-Dey Field.
Greco (2-0) allowed one unearned run on eight hits with six strikeouts and one walk in eight innings.
“It was a little tough for me to focus tonight,” Greco said. “I’d been waiting for a call. Never got the call, so I just put my phone away and thought here we go, we’re just going to play some baseball, forget about it. It’s done. You can’t do anything to change it.”
Bombers manager Jud Kindle said Greco’s tight slider was a key to his success.
“He threw a lot of strikes, eight innings, 88 pitches, and kept his pitch count down,” Kindle said.
The Bombers (5-4) jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first two innings. They didn’t exactly punish the baseball, though.
Ty White, who went 2 for 4, hit a bloop single to short right field with one out in the first inning, and Tony Sandifer, who went 2 for 4 with two runs scored, blooped a single to right. White dashed to third on the play.
Zach Lavy, who totaled three RBIs, grounded out to first to score White, and Curtiss Bunch, who went 2 for 4, followed with a two-out, run-scoring bloop single to right.
Both of the Bombers’ runs scored with two outs. In all, they batted 5 for 11 (.455) with two outs.
“It’s timely hitting, two-out hitting,” Kindle said. “We had some good two-out at-bats.”
Cody Webster, who finished 2 for 4, singled to center to lead off the second. Jess Cartner bunted him to second, and Christian Bunch singled to center to load the bases. Nick DeLorenzo grounded out to first to make the score 3-0.
“We got kind of lucky with some of them bloopers, but that’s the game,” Lavy said.
Meanwhile, Greco was plowing through the Diamond Spirit’s lineup. He struck out six over the first four innings and got some help from catcher Webster, who threw out Brad McKeown at second for the third out of the first inning and Kevin Lamb for the first out of the second.
“He does a great job down there,” Greco said of Webster. “He blocks all the balls and everything, and throws people out. I can’t ask for a better catcher in this league.”
The Bombers padded their lead by two in the fifth with two more runs against losing pitcher Tim Carlson.
With two outs, Sandifer singled, and Lavy followed with a towering home run over the 356-foot mark in right field for a 5-0 lead.
“He was keeping the ball down, had some good stuff,” Lavy said of the Omaha pitcher. “I’d been struggling a lot, so Coach told me to get the barrel out and make sure I stayed level with my shoulders. I did that and got the ball out of the ballpark.”
Carlson (1-1) yielded five runs on seven hits with two strikeouts and no walks in five innings.
Omaha (2-5) broke through for its only run in the seventh.
Lamb, who had three hits, singled to center field and advanced to second on a passed ball. Kevin Connolly lifted a fly ball to right for the first out, but Lamb tagged up and went to third.
Greco retired Eric McGlauflin on a grounder to third, and Lamb scored on an error by third baseman Sandifer.
“During that time, I was almost was letting it get out of hand. I was getting a little too confident out there,” Greco said. “They got a piece of the ball. It happens. It’s baseball. That’s why we got these guys out here and playing defense for me.”
The Bombers tallied an insurance run in the eighth against relief pitcher Logan Thune.
Bunch doubled with one out and scored on Webster’s single and throwing error by shortstop Sky Bushyhead.
The Bombers carried a three-game winning streak into Sunday night’s home matchup against Chillicothe.
“(It’s) the confidence factor,” Kindle said of the winning streak. “I think our position players are starting to get comfortable, trying to make adjustments at the plate during the games. That’s a good sign. We’re young at the plate.”